Basic Keyword Research for Car Dealers

Here at ClickMotive we make heavy use of the Google Keyword Tool for helping us choose keywords to target and determine which terms are more important. Several times a week we show car dealers how to make use of these best practices to ensure they’re familiar with the most important keywords for their market. We used this kind of keyword research to make sure that some of the most popular keyword combinations used by buyers are baked into our website platform. Here’s how dealers can use the Google Keyword Tool for keyword research.

1.      Go to the keyword tool at
2.      Enter the keywords that you would like the research into the “Word or Phrase” box
3.      Check the filter that says “Only show ideas closely related to my search terms” under the “Word or Phrase” box and click search.
4.      After the search has completed, on the left side, under “Match Types” check “[Exact].” This will allow you to see how many people search using the exact keywords you’ve entered.
5.      Now you can download the all of the results into Excel to sort by search volume and make sure you’re prioritizing your keywords correctly.

car dealer keyword research basics
Google Keyword Tool

As you’re looking at the data that the keyword tool reports here are some points to consider:….

  • Make sure you’re looking at “Exact” match keywords. Many SEOs tell you that there are hundreds or thousands of searches for a particular term when in fact the exact match search volume the numbers are considerably smaller.
  • Look at terms using geographic modifiers associated with your city and area. Trying to rank for “MAKE dealer,” while valuable locally, won’t be nearly as valuable as “CITY MAKE dealer.”
  • “Local Monthly Searches” as shown in the Google keyword tool isn’t “local” for your area. It actually corresponds to the traffic for your location (USA) and language (English).
  • Search volumes reported as <10 or dashes (representing zero) don’t mean that there are no users searching for those terms but that the search volume is low (think one or two a month). With that in mind feel free to test keyword variations and keep those that bring you valuable traffic.
  • High rankings won’t always bring you the traffic and being on page 1 isn’t always enough. For the top terms like “CITY MAKE” and “CITY MAKE DEALER” Google is almost always going to put a dealer in the city at the top of the list. The further you are from the city being searched the less likely users are to click your result and buy from you.

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